The governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has taken decisive steps aimed at halting the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), amidst second wave of the pandemic and Lassa fever resurgence in the State.
In a virtual meeting with journalists on Tuesday, the Governor called for behavioural changes and need for caution among the public in order to achieve public health safety.
According to him, “The last time we had to deal with the pandemic, we had enough time to respond and develop an epidemiological curve that showed how the disease behaves. This time around, we have to be cautious. COVID-19 is hitting us quickly.
“The real issue is changing the attitude and behaviour of our people. It is a festive season and they have to take personal precaution. The state government would take adequate measures to protect the people, but they are also to take personal responsibility”.
He noted that the state’s campaign against the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is peculiar because it was also battling with Lassa fever, as this was also its peak period in the state.
Explaining that the state would ensure proper management of new cases of the disease, he said, “For Edo State, we are fighting Lassa Fever this season. In Irrua, the bed spaces have been taken already and we may not even have enough room for COVID-19 cases.”
The governor charged media organisations in the state to step up engagement on the severity of the second wave of COVID-19, urging the need to emphasize the importance of residents taking personal responsibility in protecting themselves and halting the spread of the virus.
Former State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Ralph Okhiria, thanked the governor for being proactive, noting that the journalists would do well to enjoin the public to take personal responsibility in halting the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking with a cross section of religious leaders during a virtual meeting on Tuesday, the governor said it was necessary to get the input and buy-in of relevant stakeholders as the state begins its campaign to halt the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
He charged religious leaders in the state to engage and educate their congregation on the severity of the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.
He also stepped up engagement with Stakeholders across the state as he fashions a coordinated response to Coronavirus in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.
According to him, “We are happy to be meeting you as I will not do anything as a governor without consulting relevant stakeholders in society. That is why we were re-elected into office, to serve the people. In serving you, we are going to carry everyone along.
“We have met with the press in the state and are now meeting with you, the religious leaders, as we are convinced that we need your input in our programmes to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for halting the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.”
In his response, Bishop of Akoko Edo Diocese, Anglican Communion, Bishop Jolly Oyekpen noted that it was imperative for religious leaders to take a front line role in pushing the message for people to be cautious and abide by regulations to prevent the spread of the virus.
He said: “The onus lies on us to make our members know about the severity of the virus. They must know that the pandemic is real and they must take action. Church leaders must make their people know about it.”
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